BY DAN FLYNN | AUG 23, 2012
We are going to have to wait a little longer to see if supporters of Wisconsin raw milk dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger can pull off a rarely used legal maneuver called jury nullification.
Sauk County Judge Guy Reynolds has moved the start of the Hershberger jury tail to Jan. 7, 2013. Evidence and witness lists are due Oct. 19, and the final pre-trial conference is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Hershberger is the Loganville farmer charged with 4 misdemeanor counts stemming from commercial production and sales of raw milk going back to June 2010.
The charges include operating a retail food establishment, farm, and dairy plant -- all without licenses -- and violating a hold order placed on his products after a raid conducted in June 2010.
Hershberger's fate may well hinge on whether jurors selected for that trial are willing to go along with a strategy raised earlier this year on the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.
"A question that has been raised about the trial is: can the jury hearing the case legally engage in jury nullification and return a verdict of not guilty on the charges no matter what the facts and the law of the case are? The answer is yes," wrote fund attorney Pete Kennedy.
It may take walking a fine line, however. According to Kennedy, Wisconsin law makes jury nullification..............continue reading